The Method

The Method is a series that explores the intersection of science and society. In modern journalism, science reporting often repeats the material in press releases or studies without engaging in the critical thinking that defines the scientific method. The Method will look at science through a different lens. How does scientific research affect you and your community? That's the story we hope to share with you. 

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Kathryn King/Y-12

Sending humans into space is a relatively recent achievement of the species. Yet, the half-century since Yuri Gagarin's historic one-orbit flight has seen manned space flight go from extraordinary to routine, a startling evolution.

In this edition of The Method, we examine what we can learn from the space program, even in its less-glorious years.

The focus of each edition of The Method is how science affects our lives. We give that theme special focus this month, with three stories that show how people use science and related fields to tackle interesting issues in their lives, and ours.

Chrissy Keuper speaks with two researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They study the state of America's hydroelectric power sources.

Brandon Hollingsworth meets Vinny Cevasco, an Ohio high schooler who came to Knoxville last week to learn how to tackle problems using science, technology and design.

NASA

If all you know about the dwarf planet Pluto is that it’s small, cold and very far away, well, you’re not alone. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has refused to give up much information. Even the best images from the Hubble Space Telescope show little more than a small dot with orange and black smudges on it.

Scientific American

National Public Radio science correspondent Joe Palca was in Knoxville this week, explaining the universe in just two minutes. He also found a few minutes to come by our studios to speak with WUOT's Chrissy Keuper.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

Today, a map is something you look at on a tiny smartphone screen, showing where you are and what's within fifty feet. But for most of cartography's history, maps took a broader view, showing not only political and geographic boundaries, but culture and art. Cartography is a melding of science and art, as Matt Shafer Powell learned while looking through the McClung Museum's newest acquisitions.

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